I have been prayer journaling for about 6 months now and in the journal I use, the first thing on the page is to write a Bible verse for the day. I came across a verse while journaling that got me thinking so much that I wanted to share it with you. The verse says “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35.
As believers, it can be tough to know when the right time is to bring up spiritual things and how to bring it up without coming across as a Jesus freak or being pushy about salvation, attending church, or prayer. We want unbelievers to know God and we also want them to know we have a relationship with God, but how should we bring it up?
I think people see God in us through our every day lives and there’s really no need to initiate spiritual conversations unless the other person does so. We are already teaching unbelievers about God through our words and actions and all we need to do is love others well and God’s character will be shown through us. For people who are unbelievers in God, they see us as the norm for all believers and as an example of what God himself is like. The love we show unbelievers is the greatest testimony of God’s love for them.
The opposite is also true. Through our words and actions, we can be a negative example of what believers are like and of who God is. If we are hateful, people will think that all believers must be this way. We will push people away from God because we push people away from us. I have known many so called believers in Christ who are miserable, hateful people. This is why so many people who grow up in toxic religion want nothing to do with God after getting out. They have been taught through the words and actions of believers and members of the church that God is unloving, angry, judgmental and against them.
We must be aware that people are watching us. People are listening to us. Even if you feel like you don’t have many friends or you’re not really involved in anything, you have influence over at least 1 person in your life and you can be a testimony of who God is through how well you show love to this person. As a believer, you are called to be a Christ like example and by being that example, others will learn of the love of God and the beauty of a relationship with him.
As believers in Christ we are called to love others. 1 John 4:8 says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love”. This is how serious God is about loving others, that if we do not show love to all people, we do not know God. You cannot claim to know God while tearing down others. When you do not show love to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and strangers, you do not truly know God. Maybe you know someone who thinks they have a good relationship with God but their human relationships are a mess. That doesn’t make much sense, does it.
God did not call his believers to judge others, he called his believers to love. Love without hesitation or bad intentions. John 15:12 says “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” Do you think God loves you based on your political views, gender, sexual orientation, career, appearance, your childhood, religious views, the way you smell, whether you live in a house or under a bridge, how much debt you’re in, what kind of personality you have, etc? Of course not! Only humans show love based on these things. God loves us no matter who we are and God commands us to love others just like he does.
Showing others that we are believers can look like this: Being the co-worker and friend who doesn’t engage in or start inappropriate conversations, being a spouse and parent who respects their partner and kids and works on building good relationships with them, being welcoming and kind to all people you meet, keeping our promises, encouraging others, not starting or engaging in gossip, not being easily angered, being reliable, happily helping others, respecting ourselves, having a safe and loving home, showing love and grace to others.
As believers, we are examples of Christ and we have the responsibility to show love to the world. Through our love, people will see God in us.